Goa holds a sweet secret called ‘chana dal’

Evelyn Siqueira


Of all the sweets prepared in Goan kitchens, Bebinca,  often referred to as the ‘Queen of Desserts’ is the most famous and even received a GI tag recently.

bebinca | Goa | sweets | GI tag | Photo: Evelyn Siqueira


And, while Goa has its fair share of fine traditional sweets, what’s interesting is that chana dal (also called Bengal gram dal or split chickpeas) is the key ingredient of a good many, including …

Goa | sweets | chana dal | fried modak | Photo: Arti Das


Also known as Doce de Grão, this sweet preparation is an essential element in the Goan Christmas kuswar.

Goa | sweets | chana dal | Bengal gram | doce | Photo: Evelyn Siqueira


Vonn is a sweet with a porridge-like consistency, and is made of chana dal, coconut milk and palm jaggery.

Goa | sweets | chana dal | Bengal gram | vonn | Photo: bigfattummy


A specialty of Christmas and Ganesh Chaturthi, neoreo are prepared using a variety of fillings, one of them being a sweet, crushed chana dal mixture.

Neoreo | Ganesh Chaturthi | Goa | sweets | chana dal | Bengal gram | | Photo: Arti Das


Mangane is very similar to kheer, and contains sabudana, jaggery, coconut milk, and of course, chana dal. It is generally prepared during the Hindu holy month of Shravan.

Goa | sweets | chana dal | Bengal gram | mangane


Rice, coconut, jaggery and chana dal  go into the making of the crunchy Sukurunde balls, which though tasty, is a little known sweet in Goa.

Goa | sweets | chana dal | Bengal gram | Sukurunde | Photo: The Goan Laddoo, Panjim

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